NC DHHS employee got big check after month on job - WNCT

NC DHHS employee got big check after month on job

Posted: Updated:
The taxpayer-funded payment to Thomas L. Adams became public Friday following the release of a July 29 letter signed by Wos and state budget director Art Pope. The taxpayer-funded payment to Thomas L. Adams became public Friday following the release of a July 29 letter signed by Wos and state budget director Art Pope.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Embattled North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos approved a $37,227 lump sum payment to her chief of staff, a lobbyist who departed after working only one month on the job.
    
The taxpayer-funded payment to Thomas L. Adams became public Friday following the release of a July 29 letter signed by Wos and state budget director Art Pope. The payment to Adams was first reported by NC Policy Watch, a left-leaning policy organization.
    
Adams, 62, was hired March 1 and departed his $155,000-a-year job on April 2. Records show the additional payment made on top of his salary was to settle any potential claims he might have against the state agency.
    
A copy of the settlement released by DHHS late Friday provides no indication of why Adams left or why he might have standing to file a claim. In his position as an adviser to Wos, Adams' job would have been exempted from state personnel privacy protections and he would not be entitled to severance.
    
DHHS spokesman Ricky Diaz said he could not comment on the matter, citing personnel privacy restrictions.
    
Wos defended her hiring and salary practices during an interview aired on News 14 Carolina Friday night.
    
"It is critical when you're setting up a leadership team to surround yourself (with) people that are talented, trustworthy, hard-working and focused people," Wos said in the recorded interview.
    
A phone message left for Adams received no response.
    
Records show Adams registered as a paid lobbyist at the start of the 2013 legislative session for the N.C. Captive Insurance Association. He is currently listed on the group's Internet page as its president and CEO.
    
Wos, a Greensboro doctor and Republican who helped raise money for the 2012 campaign of Gov. Pat McCrory, has been under fire for months over politically charged hires and other issues. The latest disclosure comes as legislators have scheduled an all-day oversight hearing next month to talk about the agency and its leadership.
    
Earlier this week, it was reported that Wos hired an anti-abortion activist and GOP-political donor as a senior policy adviser making $95,000 a year. Also an early organizer for the conservative Eastern North Carolina Tea Party, Margaret "Mardy" Peal had not worked in the field of health care for more than a decade.
    
Earlier this year, Wos named Dianna Lightfoot as director of North Carolina's pre-kindergarten and child-care subsidy programs. Lightfoot had for years led an organization that opposed formal pre-K programs. She withdrew from the post following public outcry.
    
The agency also awarded a lucrative consulting contract to a man who works for a logistics firm led by Wos' husband. That consultant, Joe Hauck, has been paid more than $228,000 in eight months.
    
Dr. Rebecca King, who spent 35 years as head of the state's oral health program, was dismissed. King said she refused to provide the names of state-paid dental hygienists who took vacation time to lobby legislators against cuts to dental programs that serve low-income children.
    
Diaz, a 24-year-old former campaign spokesman for McCrory, is paid $85,000 a year as the agency's communications director. Wos' chief adviser for policy issues is another 24-year-old, former McCrory campaign staffer Matthew McKillip. He is paid $87,500.
    
While not referring to Diaz and McKillop by name, Wos said she had worked with them previously and said "their track record is impeccable."
    
Asked if their pay scale was appropriate, Wos said, "Actually, it should be more, but that option doesn't exist."
    
Last week, The Associated Press reported that the agency had hired a former Republican campaign staffer and lobbyist as its new director of brands and marketing. Aaron Mullins will be paid $68,000 a year.
 

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • NC GOP Senate candidates face off as early voting begins

    NC GOP Senate candidates face off as early voting begins

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:15:49 GMT
    The four top-polling Republican Senate candidates, vying to unseat Democrat Kay Hagan, debated on Wednesday night in Raleigh, the night before early voting was set to begin. The primary is May 6, but voters can start heading to the polls on Thursday.During the half hour televised debate, State House of Representatives Speaker Thom Tillis of Charlotte said he was leading a conservative revolution in Raleigh, cutting regulations and taking credit for falling unemployment numbers. Tillis faces c...
    The four top-polling Republican Senate candidates, vying to unseat Democrat Kay Hagan, debated on Wednesday night in Raleigh, the night before early voting was set to begin. The primary is May 6, but voters can start heading to the polls on Thursday.During the half hour televised debate, State House of Representatives Speaker Thom Tillis of Charlotte said he was leading a conservative revolution in Raleigh, cutting regulations and taking credit for falling unemployment numbers. Tillis faces c...
  • Committee proposes rules for drone use in NC

    Committee proposes rules for drone use in NC

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-04-23 20:58:27 GMT
    A legislative committee approved a set of regulations that it hopes will calm people's fears about the use of drones while allowing the industry to flourish.
    A legislative committee approved a set of regulations that it hopes will calm people's fears about the use of drones while allowing the industry to flourish.
  • Republican NC Senate candidates meet in debate

    Republican NC Senate candidates meet in debate

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:24 PM EDT2014-04-23 18:24:44 GMT
    Thom Tillis largely shrugged off criticism about aspects of his legislative record from one of the three other candidates participating in their first television debate.
    Thom Tillis largely shrugged off criticism about aspects of his legislative record from one of the three other candidates participating in their first television debate.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Mom wins lawsuit against TSA after breast milk screening problems

    Mom wins lawsuit against TSA after breast milk screening problems

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:40 PM EDT2014-04-23 20:40:54 GMT
    A Southern California woman who was held at a Phoenix airport four years ago after refusing to have her breast milk X-rayed has reached a settlement with the Transportation Security Administration. Stacey
    A Southern California woman who was held at a Phoenix airport four years ago after refusing to have her breast milk X-rayed has reached a settlement with the Transportation Security Administration. Stacey
  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.